By Karl Sand
We all know that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. That has always been a tell-tale warning to organizations that blindly enact strategy with no viable metrics to track its success. And yet, that training and adoption campaigns for technology deployments often fall into this very same trap. It should be expected that all employees will require training for new software applications when they are rolled out. So why don’t organizations track how effective that training and enablement is for the users? Maybe it’s because they can’t handle the truth…
The plain truth is that the old methods of classroom-based training and the new versions of computer-based-training (CBT’s), also known as E-Learning curriculum, have been expensive to deploy –and no one wants to know or acknowledge that the investment was wasted, even though it often is. That’s mostly because the retention rate of employees sitting through this type of training is very low because, well, they’re human.
We discussed the “Forgetting Curve” in Pt. 2 of this blog series – take a look here if you need a refresher.
Monitoring and Reporting for User Adoption Activity
What I’ve seen as the most effective way to drive adoption campaigns for new technology is through targeted internal marketing efforts. Let’s say your organization has decided to migrate from Box or Dropbox to OneDrive as part of a transition to Office 365.
How do you know that this new file-sharing solution is being adopted by your end-users? The free Office 365 admin console doesn’t have an easy way to view who is using OneDrive, how often they’re logging in, etc. You need to write specific Powershell scripts to get that user activity information, or purchase a 3rd party tool that provides those type of adoption reports.
Once you have the list of users you want to include in a marketing adoption campaign, you should also categorize it by job role, so you can tailor the messages directly to what their needs might be for day-to-day tasks. Then send out e-mail messages that include links for how-to information, FAQs and existing training materials/videos.
You should then monitor the growth in usage for those targeted groups and perform follow-up campaigns for specific users to drive further adoption. After you see the adoption of OneDrive grow within your organization you can stop paying for your previous cloud vendor and use those savings for other IT projects and maximize your investment in Office 365.
But the job is not done. You should continually keep your eye on adoption. Keep tracking activity and perform personalized follow-ups with those users who remain inactive. Send additional, targeted e-mails and follow-up communications to answer questions and provide incentives to continually maintain usage of the platform.
The adoption reports you create will enable your team to accurately monitor user actions and perform follow-up communications as needed.
Monitoring for usage adoption is not a one-time effort. IT organizations should be diligent to track user activity and make sure they are helping users leverage new technology to be more productive.
This integral (and often forgotten) on-going effort to ensure users are happily using the new system should be an integral part of any change management plan. Do not attempt to begin any large-scale migration project without this type of maintenance accounted for. It is only when new platforms are widely used that the organization will see successful ROI on their enterprise rollouts.